YOU, The Leader
Leadership in a Changed World
First, we must recognise the work we have done throughout these difficult times, acknowledge the current state of education and understand how the future of work has changed. In this way, we can create a shared vision for the future and agree new expectations.
We now know what true disruption feels like and we have all had to adapt to agile working environments with little to no preparation or plan in place to help us navigate the uncertainty. Now, we can redefine what good looks like and acknowledge how it is different now from what is was before.
With the clear communication of objectives and goals and defining what the measures of success are we can inspire motivation, accomplishment and drive ensuring we are all working towards this common goal as a supportive and united team.
Exerting the right amount of pressure upon ourselves and our teams is crucial to achieving effective long term, high performance. As discussed in a 2019 published research article by Marie S. Mitchell et al,2 there is a direct correlation between the level of pressure we feel and the performance we achieve.
Experiencing a level of pressure that stretches us out of our comfort zone can energise us and spark us into action, this is where we will find that we are operating in our peak performance zone experiencing a boost of energy, a feeling of drive and a sense of purpose enabling us to operate at our highest level of productivity.
It is unrealistic to believe we can always operate in our maximum performance zone, periodically we need to recharge in order to re-energise. If we feel we are under too much pressure or that the challenges we are facing are too much, the stretch we feel can quickly turn into strain. That strain can affect our concentration levels, our decision-making skills, our effectiveness and our overall wellbeing. This is true for you in the same way it is true for your team.
Every day can bring a new challenge and an increase in pressure, how we bounce back from the challenges we encounter and the resulting fluctuations in our performance is down to resilience. Put simply, resilience is our capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
Acknowledging how you feel enables you to recognise and accept when you are experiencing a problem or in need of recovery. It is impossible to operate at peak performance for long time periods without experiencing burnout, so take regular moments to reflect on how you are feeling. Many leaders admit they have felt overwhelmed, stressed, de-motivated, worried, pressured, challenged, un-enthusiastic, frustrated, unsure and out of control throughout the lockdown period. It is important to be in-tune with how you are feeling so that you know when and what action can aid resilience.
Taking control with actions is an excellent way to start counteracting feelings of worry and anxiety.
Resilience is a skill that needs to be practiced, we can all take active steps like these to build our resilience and develop a growth mindset. Each time you overcome a challenge your self-confidence improves reinforcing positive behaviours, thoughts and actions and building your resilience. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, overwhelmed by work or feeling worried and anxious, it is this resilience that will provide the ability to refocus and get back on track quickly.